New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1992) 16(2): 109- 118

Bird Abundance in Different-Aged Stands of Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum)—Implications for Coupe-Logging

Research Article
E. B. Spurr  
B. Warburton  
K. W. Drew  
  1. Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd, P.O. Box 31011, Christchurch, New Zealand

The abundance of birds in three different-aged stands (young, mature, and old) was examined at North Okarito, a lowland rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) forest in Westland, using 5-minute counts, transect counts, and mist-netting. Most of New Zealand's common forest bird species were present in the study area, with relatively high numbers of brown creeper (Mohoua novaeseelandiae) and New Zealand robin (Petroica australis), and low numbers of kaka (Nestor meridionalis) and yellow- crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps). Most insectivorous species were more abundant than expected (from sampling effort) in young and mature stands, the frugivorous New Zealand pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) was more abundant than expected in mature and old stands, and most omnivorous species, viz., bellbird (Anthornis melanura), silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), and tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), were more abundant than expected in young and old stands. North Okarito Forest provided an important source of seasonal foods (nectar, fruit, and seeds) for frugivorous, omnivorous, and introduced granivorous species, which tended to have greater changes in their seasonal abundance than did insectivorous species. Coupe- logging of old stands will affect all bird species because it will reduce the overall area of standing forest, but it will have a greater impact on the pigeon, bellbird, silvereye, robin, and tui because of their preference for old stands.